Leinster’s Devin Toner has been nominated for the IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year 2014…

Ireland’s Rugby Players Association, IRUPA has announced the nominations for Irish rugby’s ultimate accolade, the Hibernia College IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year 2014. In the running to land the much sought after award is Leinster and Ireland lock Devin Toner, as well as two of his 6 Nations winning Ireland team-mates; Munster and Ireland flanker Peter O’Mahony, and Ulster and Ireland winger Andrew Trimble.

The Players Awards mark one of the biggest nights in all of Irish sport. They are the only national awards voted for by the players themselves, with votes collected from the entire professional player group across the country.

Chairman of IRUPA, Rob Kearney: “All awards presented on the night are hugely significant, as there is no higher accolade than being recognized by your peers who you go into battle with each week. The Hibernia College Player of the Year Award is particularly coveted as it represents the one outstanding performer in all of Irish rugby as voted by all fellow players”.

The award is one of ten including three new categories which will be announced at the sellout ceremony hosted by Scott Quinnell on Wednesday 7th May at Dublin’s Double Tree by Hilton Hotel.

Among the other awards is the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year, contested this year by a host of talented young players including the 2013 winner, Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw and two graduates of the Leinster Academy Jack McGrath and Jordi Murphy.

The Volkswagen Try of the Year includes JJ Hanrahan’s last gasp try against Perpignan to secure a home quarter final for Munster in the Heineken Cup, Rob Kearney’s intercept try during Ireland’s heartbreaking defeat to New Zealand in the Autumn International Series and Jonny Sexton’s 2nd try against France in Paris to secure the RBS 6 Nations title for Ireland.

IRUPA is delighted to introduce three new Awards for 2014; the Boardmatch Contribution to Society, which will be awarded to a player or former player who has made a significant impact to society outside of rugby. Members of the public can now also get involved by nominating their Powerscourt Hotel Rugby Moment of the Year via Twitter @PowerscourtHtl using the hashtag #PHMOTY and with an amazing season almost behind us there will be plenty to nominate.

Continuing our commitment to deliver the best Player Development Programme to the professional game, IRUPA has extended this hugely successful off field development programme to the Women’s Sevens squad as they prepare for their qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. The 2014 Awards will also see the inaugural BNY Mellon Women’s Sevens Player of the Year 2014 as voted by members of the Sevens squad.

2014 is the third year of the Hibernia College Medal for Excellence which will be awarded to the individual who demonstrates exceptional commitment to the game both on and off field. This is a player who matches their playing and training with team support, studies, work, mentoring, charity and community involvement. Players across the Provinces voted for Leinster’s Shane Jennings, Connacht’s Ronan Loughney and Munster’s Donncha O’Callaghan.

Munster’s James Coughlan, Ulster’s Roger Wilson and for the third time, Michael Swift of Connacht have been shortlisted for the IRUPA O2 Unsung Hero Award. Now thanks to O2, you can have your say and vote for your favourite on Twitter @O2IrlRugby using the hashtag #O2UnsungHero. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony.

Rugby fans across Ireland can again vote for their Supporters’ Player of the Year 2013 on Newstalk106-108fm. Tune into Off the Ball on Newstalk106-108fm from Monday April 29th to vote, and to be in with a chance to attend the event at the Burlington on Wednesday 9th May. The award will be presented to the winning player at the awards ceremony.

For Awards updates, follow us on Twitter @IRUPA or use the hashtag: #irupas2014